This post is kind of a two-birds-one-stone kind of deal.
CVS recently gave me a coupon to try out Sally Hansen’s new Miracle Gel polishes, so I decided to go ahead and give them a shot. After all, I’d read some good things about these polishes. I was pretty intrigued by the promise of gel-like durability in a regular nail polish. I know Miracle Gel has the world gel in there, but after reading up on it, it sounds more like a regular nail polish with a top coat that reacts in sunlight to bond with the nail color underneath. It’s supposedly easily removable without soaking, and you don’t need a UV lamp. Yeah, that sounded pretty good to me, too!
This is three thin coats of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel B Girl in natural light, topped with one coat of Julep Paris on the ring finger and one coat of Nicole by OPI Lips Are Dripping Honey (from their Carrie Underwood collection). All of that is topped with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, which is what supposedly makes the magic happen.
B Girl‘s formula is fine, though it looked patchy even after two coats, so I added a third for evenness. It looked decent on the third coat, and I love the creamy, minty green-blue color. It’s exactly the kind of color I’m always drawn to. Dry time was average.
Once that all dried, I applied one coat Julep Paris on the ring finger and one coat Nicole by OPI Lips Are Dripping Honey on the middle finger, which I’ll compare in a minute.
Here’s another angle to show the rainbows in the holo glitters:
The main problem with B Girl’s application was the wonky brush, which, frankly, sucked. It’s a wide, almost mop-like brush, with a curved tip, which is fine, but the bristles were unevenly trimmed and resulted in some bristles pressing into the polish and causing streaks. Ugh. At least the polish formula was somewhat self-leveling, though it didn’t quite make up for the bad brush.
Anyway, it all worked out in the end, thanks to the Miracle Gel Top Coat. It’s a somewhat viscous top coat, though not nearly as thick as Seche Vite. Like with Seche Vite when not applied carefully, I did have some polish transfer onto the brush when I applied the top coat, even though the nail polish underneath was dry to the touch. I did my best to glide the top coat on a la Seche Vite, but it’s harder with the thinner formula. The top coat dried like a normal top coat and took a while, though that was because I painted my nails at night, and I couldn’t use the sun to cure it quickly. I’d recommend using this during the daytime, if possible, so you can take advantage of the UV curing. I’d suppose that a UV lamp could do the same thing, but I haven’t tried this and can’t confirm.
It’s currently one day in, and the nails are looking good, as promised – no tip wear at all yet! I’ll update this in about a week to add notes on durability.
Meanwhile, here’s a face-off between Paris and Lips Are Dripping Honey. When I saw LADH on sale at the drugstore, I was immediately drawn to it…and then I realized I already had its twin at home. Of course, that motivated me even more to pick it up because I love sniffing out dupes. Here’s a close-up (Paris on the left (ring finger) and LADH on the right (middle finger)):
They’re basically the same thing, as I’d suspected: holo hex glitters that are gold on one side and silver on the other, mixed with a smattering of holo microglitters in a clear base. The only real difference seems to be that Paris is noticeably thicker and suspends the glitters better, so that they generally apply in a good distribution, even if you just brush it on like you would a regular nail polish. I didn’t really have to place glitters for LADH either, per se, but just swiping on the polish left a much sparser distribution of glitters. My swatch shows both basically just brushed on without any special technique, though I did end up pushing/dabbing a little with LADH, just because the thinner formula made it a little more challenging for glitters to stay put on the nail. They both dry pretty fast.
Otherwise, I honestly probably couldn’t tell these apart without being told, and you can get the same glitter density with LADH if you just put on two coats. There’s a huge price difference between the two, though. Paris goes for $14 regular ($11.20 Maven) for 0.27 fl. oz./8 mL, while LADH goes for about $7.99 at CVS for 0.5 fl. oz./15 mL, easily cheaper if you have a coupon or catch it on sale. Using the regular prices, though, by volume, Paris is about 3.3 times the price of LADH, a little better (about 2.6 times) if you’re a Maven. I prefer Paris’ formula, but I don’t know if it’s worth the price premium.
The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel colors and top coat go for $9.99 each at CVS and can be much better priced if you can scare up a coupon. :] If you’ve tried Miracle Gel, what did you think?
UPDATE 7/29/14: I wore these nails for 8 days to test out durability, and it stood up pretty well to my being pretty rough with my hands. The only nails that had any chipping or significant wear were the ones where part of the nail itself chipped off (mostly from emphatic piano playing, again) – both thumbs and my right pinky. The rest of the nails stayed amazingly intact! Also, removal was a breeze. The nails with the additional glitter took the usual 10 minutes to soak off, and the rest came off effortlessly in seconds, like a normal creme polish. I think Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is a winner!
Next, I’ll be testing Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat with other polishes, to see if it does the magic on its own. Stay tuned!